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Fantasy-Dynasty Game Recap 2016 Week 17: Cardinals v. Rams

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This game was a joke, re-watching it weeks later – still a joke…44–6 Cardinals. Carson Palmer is still in the game throwing the ball into the 4th quarter. Jared Goff is getting blasted every time he drops back to pass. David Johnson looked like he may have torn everything with the letters ‘CL’ in his leg. A meaningless game with a ton of players at risk…welcome to your NFL.

In protest, I’m not going to talk about the game itself…because it was meaningless, so I am resting/benching my typing fingers to keep them safe, healthy.

 

As far as the player notes from re-watching this game:

 

— The QB situation in Arizona has a huge impact on all the related fantasy weapons for 2017+.

If Carson Palmer (20-38 for 255 yards, 3 TD/1 INT) returns, then you’re looking at a repeat of 2016… David Johnson makes a run at 1,000+ yards receiving. Larry Fitzgerald (5-43-1/7 targets) leads the team in receiving but doesn’t score many TDs. The team has a sub-.500 record, and the franchise wastes a season (2017) and then stares into the abyss of a 2018 season with no quarterback, no Fitz, and individual stars coming up on paydays soon (David Johnson and Deone Bucannon). Bruce Arians will likely retire for health (and recent failure) reasons and go enjoy life. The organization will be in shambles with a team built around players for Arians…and he’ll be gone. They’ll have an empty GM and out-to-lunch hanger-onner President (owner’s son) who will try to put out this forest fire with a garden hose.

If you’re an Arizona fan, you either want to kill me right now or change team affiliations. I see the crash coming.

If Tony Romo comes to Arizona, and stays healthy, then maybe there’s a chance in 2017, and we’ll see about 2018…and then all the ‘bad’ prediction stuff goes down hard in 2019.

If Palmer retires and Romo goes to Houston or wherever, all the negatives I am foretelling – it starts in 2017. I am confident in that claim, because this management group has no idea what it’s doing at quarterback. This is the Logan Thomas draft pick brain trust. This is the group already talking about the obvious trap door QB prospects in 2017 – Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer. If forced to draft their way out of their quarterback dilemma – I would almost bet my life savings that they take Watson or Kizer and completely destroy their dying franchise in 2017.

Hey, at least two out of those three scenarios are OK for David Johnson. If Arizona goes with a high probable bust rookie QB in 2017 – Johnson may be in some trouble for putting up the kind of numbers he has in the past, especially the TD counts.

 

— I’ve already touched on what Jared Goff’s (13-20 for 120 yards) and Todd Gurley’s (14-40-0, 4-37-0/5 targets) future might look like with their new coach in this article here. Link: FFM: New Coach Analysis Sean McVay

I’ll just say quickly – Jared Goff was sacked seven times and hurried on nearly every throw. Either he’s the worst QB ever or the Rams’ offensive game plan and passing routes are a joke. Seeing that Goff, Foles, Keenum all looked the same…great passers with huge numbers in college and or the pros before they arrived to the Rams…and seeing the fear of getting killed on every play out of all of them for the past two years…I’d say it’s a Rams issue, not Goff’s at this point. It’s a joke. The team had 482 yards offense, total, in the final three games of 2016 season.

 

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— Pharoh Cooper (4-36-0/6 targets) had his most productive game of his rookie season in Week 17. Every time I see Pharoh Cooper, all I think is – ‘nothing special’.

 

— The best of the Rams’ rookie WRs, to me, is Southeast Missouri State UDFA Paul McRoberts (1-6-0/1 targets). He’s consistently looked like the only rookie who knew what he was doing and had reliable hands back to the preseason…and, of course, he’s the most buried. Closer to released than starting, I suspect.

 

— How did I fall asleep on Cardinals OLB Markus Golden’s (4 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 PD) great 2016? 12.5 sacks and 16 TFLs (2nd best in the NFL). He also forced 4 fumbles.

I did not love Golden coming out of Missouri in 2015. He ran a 4.90 40-time for goodness’ sake. He had a flimsy bench press (17 reps). Whatever the measurables, Golden has been a great producer when given the chance with Arizona in the 2015 season and into 2016…15.5 sacks in his last 21 games.

 

— More Morgan Fox (1 tackles, 2 QB Hits)…

There is something about this guy. Every time he gets a chance to work on the Rams D-Line, he gets to the backfield. Two QB hits in this game. A TFL and a FF in the prior game…his only two real chances to play in the regular season. He was a sack machine in spots in the preseason. Keep him on your IDP watchlists.

 

— Quick note a few have asked me about concerning the Rams and the new coach – “What about Tyler Higbee?”

Don’t make any effort to hold onto Higbee.

My Higbee interest went as far as the Rams staying in a closed offense and Higbee showing signs of a relationship with Jared Goff. The new coach is likely to look for a Jordan Reed-like weapon since he had a hand in making Jordan Reed ‘a thing’. Lance Kendricks (2-12-0/3 targets) has a better chance now.

 

— OK, the David Johnson (5-6-0, 3-38-0/4 targets) injury…

It looked bad. Like, I was sitting in shock when I saw it live. The announcers were solemn. The replay was gruesome. My dynasty life flashed before my eyes. He was carted off the sidelines and back to the locker room. I was dead inside drinking it all in.

True to his Superman-like abilities, Johnson later wandered out to the sidelines in jeans to cheer his team on…just a bad sprain. Unbelievable. He’s not of this world.

Of course, my first thought (when it happened) was to cry and throw every curse word I knew at Bruce Arians for even letting Johnson be out there. In reality, I get it. Johnson was on the verge of various records. How are you going to punish a guy who has carried your team by blocking him from making franchise and/or NFL history because ‘reasons’…when everyone else throws their starters out to die in meaningless Week 17 games around the league? If Arizona needed this win for the playoffs, Johnson would have been taking his normal workload. Carson Palmer or Jared Goff, for example, I sit because they have nothing to prove or gain. I’d rather preserve them. Johnson on the verge of history… how can you take it away from him? How many times do you get to make franchise or NFL history? I hate it, but I get it. If I were the owner, I’d force Johnson to sit. I’d write him a fat bonus check and thank him for sitting one out for his future…my future. The NFL coach who is ‘dad’ to these players…I can see him letting his hard-working star go out and compete. I hate it as a fantasy GM, but I get it.

 

 — rc@fantasyfootballmetrics.com

 

 

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics, and College Football Metrics. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”

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